Multimillion elevator works at Stuyvesant Town and Penn South in Manhattan, Riverdale’s Skyview and Amalgamated Houses in the Bronx took place without construction permits, documents, drawings, asbestos testing, safety overview, noise code exemption authorizations, etc., exposing their respective shareholders/tenants to so called here “NO DRAWING AND PERMIT LOSSES” of:

a) paying for unnecessary work, because undocumented and – so – difficult to bid low;
b) substandard workmanship without drawings and by unlicensed contractors or subcontractors, e.g. elevator doors can fall off soon, if their frames were not anchored properly;
c) unsafe work conditions, e.g. cable snapping due to a falling rubble blocking a cab in motion in a shaft, where one elevator is under construction and the other is in operation;
d) personal danger from illegal and/or unidentified, but dangerous workers, and unprotected work areas exposing to cuts by sharp edges, splinters, falling into a shaft via improperly protected wall opening, etc.;
e) danger of asbestos and dust exposure;
f) inconvenience of walking stairs, and more.

Specifically, the shareholders of the mentioned NY Metro area housing corp. have been exposed to the following “NO DRAWING AND PERMIT LOSES”:

1. AMALGAMATED HOUSES (tenant owned): all of the above including replacing satisfactorily working elevators - instead of selective and partial upgrade or refurbished - resulting in a gross overspending of $5.2 M (e.g. silly elimination of skipping floors in 13-story buildings with only 4-6 apartments per floor); work stop order issued by NYC DOB on 11/15/06 for 92 Van Cortlandt Park So in the Bronx verifiable at  http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/bispi00.jsp. CENTURY ELEVATORS CHARGED OVER $300,000 TO ILLEGALLY EXPEDITE THE PROJECT BY WORKING ON SATURDAYS PROHIBITED BY NYC NOISE CODE (more details below).

2. STUYVESANT TOWN (then Met Life owned, so their business decision): all of the above, because pertaining to similar buildings to those at Amalgamated from the same era with wall plaster possibly asbestos contaminated (some info at  http://www.thevillager.com/villager_176/mcisdecontrolalready.html).

3. PENN SOUTH (Mutual Redevelopment Houses tenant owned): only b), c), and d) above, because a 21-story building height and 9 apartments per floor justified making the elevators to stop on each floor instead of skipping floors, and no asbestos was possible in the walls’ sheetrock there. But still, the illegal construction could have been stopped by Manhattan District Attorney after receiving the memo “Multimillion $$$ construction scam in NYC” faxed on 06/23/06 by Eugene Tenenbaum before the construction even started at 305 WEST 28 ST, but they did not. You can ask the recipients Hon. R. Morgenthau at (212) 335-9000 and Special Prosecutions Unit at (212) 335-8900 why. You can verify a lack of construction permits for other buildings by entering at  http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/bispi00.jsp in the line No 1 the following Manhattan addresses: 345 8 AV; 315 8 AV; 265 WEST 25 ST; 341 WEST 24 ST; 350 WEST 24 ST; 311 WEST 24 ST; 280 9 AV; 365 WEST 28 ST; 330 WEST 28 ST.

4. SKYVIEW-on-the-Hudson in Riverdale: similar loses to Pen South above.

AMALGAMATED HOUSING CORP. (OR “AMALGAMATED”) IN THE BRONX.

Of the current $10 per room per month (or “/Rm/mo”) rent increase at Amalgamated $6.78/Rm/mo actually covers the elevators’ replacement (or “Elevators”) via a deception. The Board of Directors of Amalgamated (or “Board”) temporarily redirected for Elevators’ mortgages the entire 2005’s $6/Rm/mo rent increase of a $16 allowance obtained to cover “inflation, fuel and insurance” hikes ($12) and “unforeseeable contingences” ($4), but without disclosing Elevators (planned since 2004) to avoid the opposing NYS Private Housing Finance law’s Article IV Sec. 87 and shareholders’ debate, and to hamper their ability to sue available only in June 2005. Because inflation and fuel hike took place, as predicted, so we can consider them being covered by the 2005’s $6/Rm/mo, as intended, and Elevators mortgages being financed from a temporary deficit depleting reserves, so the current $10/Rm/mo effectively covers Elevators.

In 2006, the President (Mr Yaker) of Amalgamated assured many times the shareholders that Elevators will not cause a rent increase (but fuel and inflation) after financing Elevators only temporarily from reserve. How stupid he thinks are we? If not for Elevators, we would have an extra $6.78/Rm/mo to pay for fuel!!!

The most disturbing was the ’05 decision of NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal (or “DHCR”) approving $4/Rm/mo rent increase (of $16 totally) for “unforeseeable contingences”, which actually allowed and facilitated financing Elevators without a disclosure in a direct violation of PVH law’s Article IV Sec. 87. DHCR had a statutory obligation to enforce Elevators’ prohibition (lavish and unnecessary) to protect affordability of housing DHCR chose not to obey. WHY??? You can ask them by contacting DHCR at 866-275-3427 ( DHCRInfo@dhcr.state.ny.us) or its officers Thomas Campbell at 212-480-6700 ( TCampbell@dhcr.state.ny.us) or Richmond McCurnin at 212-480-6444 ( RMcCurnin@dhcr.state.ny.us). DHCR also approved only a letter of credit for the contractor instead of a typical bond. WHY MR MCCURNIN ACCEPTED SUCH A BOARD INSISTENCE TO UNDER-PROTECT AMALGAMATED BENEFITING THE CONTRACTOR???

The elevators at Amalgamated did not require a total replacement, but only a selective and partial upgrade or refurbished. Elevators are very durable; those at the Woolworth Bldg in NYC still have the original motors and brakes from 1913.

The Board decided up front in 2004 to spend $4-4.5 mln for elevators, and ONLY THEN to find out, how that money will be used. The normal way with capital projects is to first survey that, what is wrong, than to make construction drawings (or “drawings”), how to fix that wrong, and finally to release drawings for bid to obtain the lowest possible price for intended work, and not otherwise the Board actually did (helped by consultants), as if the main purpose was TO MAXIMIZE ELEVATORS SPENDING benefiting Century Elevators (contractor), now Norris McLaughlin & Marcus (lawyers), and Boca Group (planning consultant).

Not making drawings - needed together with a manual and asbestos test to obtain a permit – and doing construction illegally actually MAXIMIZES CONTRACTOR’S SAVINGS AND PROFIT AT THE EXPENSE OF QUALITY OF WORK AND SAFETY. Amalgamated allowed for illegal Elevators work (stopped by a NYC Dept. of Bldg’s order on 11/15/06 at 92-96 Van Cortlandt Park So; see at  http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/bispi00.jsp) despite the warning faxed by Eugene Tenenbaum on 06/16/06 to the Manager, President, and Board saying:

“Simply, the construction documents for the elevator project do not include the "C" (construction) trade, and as such they had not been submitted for and did not receive any work permit for a construction activity what so ever including cutting the shaft walls with plaster from the 1949-51 era to make the intended elevator doors.
In other words, Amalgamated is planning to cut the said walls without any work permit, i.e. entirely illegally.”

On 11/28/06, Amalgamated expressed the following excuse for the illegal elevator work (that others did it illegally too): “Elevator modernization, including elimination of skip-stop and/or replacement of swing doors with slide doors, has been done in housing developments much larger than ours without Construction permits, including Stuyvesant Town and Penn South in Manhattan, and Skyview in Riverdale”. Such an excuse is as good as saying: “- I killed, because others did and got away with it". “Good job”, Mr President Yaker! What next, installing two elevators to your floor with just 4 apartments by squeezing money out of single mothers w/ children, elderly and minorities on limited budgets? Oops! It is happening now!

Additionally, Amalgamated paid over $300,000 acceleration surcharge for doing work on Saturdays… illegally (in violation of NYC Noise Code), because no variance (permitting construction activities on weekends) has been issued. Saturday’s work has also no chance to be authorized, because such a variance is given only “in the case of urgent necessity in the interest of public safety” such a speed-up could not be, because shortening 8-10 weeks of construction by the last 2 weeks cannot be considered urgent, as following 6-8 weeks of the same. So, that OVER $300,000 FEE FOR LEGALLY IMPOSSIBLE SPEED-UP TASK HAS UNDULY BURDENED SHAREHOLDERS VIA THE CONTRACT (THANKS TO THE LAWYERS AND PLANNING CONSULTANT) IN ADDITION TO OVERPRICING, SUBSTANDARD WORKMANSHIP AND PERSONAL DANGER DUE TO A FAULTY PLANNING, LACK OF DRAWINGS AND PERMITS, AND ILLEGAL WORK.